Feb 2, 2013 3:00pm PST
to be even tougher than a lot of us expected. republicans grilled hagel, raising questions about his past statements, his positions, his votes, especially when it comes to israel and iran. at times, hagel struggled to answer. other times, he gave answers he later during the same hearing had to clarify. for the fallout, let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, it was pretty bruising, but i wonder if it will have a huge result on the outlook, but give us a little background. >> reporter: well, wolf, chuck hagel as you say was battered and bruised but is still standing after what was widely considered an underwhelming performance at the hearing. chuck hagel sat alone at the table, fielding sometimes hostile and tense questions from the colleagues, including one-time senator john mccain. >> that is a direct question, i want a direct answer. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. >> will the record show -- >> reporter: that exchange centered on hagel's past opposition to the iraq surge, a surge that senator john mccain championed. he looked at past statements.
Feb 2, 2013 12:00am PST
's under 400 or about 400. >> when you saw the appointment of chuck hagel, you were pretty outspoken. >> yeah. >> why were you so animated? >> firstly, i want to say this. i don't think he's anti-semetic. i have no basis for saying that, and i do believe he's hostile to israel, but he has a right to his position. what is interesting to me is tom friedman, his first sponsor that i read his column, said he is not mainstream. this is tom friedman, who is advocating hagel. and then his opponents say he's not mainstream. why would you want a guy who is not mainstream? in charge of one of the most important agencies, the defense department? he's opposed to sanctions against iran. he's also opposed to war. well, if you don't believe in sanctions and you don't believe in war, what do you think we should do as it relates to stopping iran from getting the nuclear bombs? he believes that there should be much greater light distance, separation between israel and the united states. so as to make the arab countries more friendly to us. they want to kill us. they want to kill christians and jews an
Feb 2, 2013 7:00am PST
hagel. he was on the hot seat at the confirmation hearing to become the next defense secretary. he surely was on the defensive side it seems. listen to this. >> i don't think there was a letter that i can recall -- i don't recall the event. i don't recall that. i regret referencing the jewish lobby. i regret saying that. i regret that i used those words. not the term i should have used. i should have said pro-israel. i should have used another term. i'm sorry. i misspoke. >> joining me is cnn contributor maria cardona and amy holmes, anchor of "the real news" on "the blaze." good morning. nice to see you. maria, were you surprised at hagel's performance? >> certainly i wouldn't call it the smoothest confirmation hearing performance ever. but what i was really pricesed at was the grilling, the tough grilling he got from his former republican colleagues, one of his former closest friends, senator mccain. while it wasn't the smoothest of performances on behalf of senator hagel, i do think that republicans really need to be careful here because it is looking very political because this